PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Even though he insists that he has no desire to return to “electoral politics” former prime minister Basdeo Panday is seeking election as chairman of the ruling United National Congress (UNC).
He is also calling for a change in the leadership style of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who defeated him in 2010 for the top post of party he founded.
“I have said that I have no wish to return to electoral politics but I have been inundated with so many calls from people weeping over the fact that the UNC, which we took some 23 years to build, has all but been destroyed.
“It has lost its moorings, it no longer struggles for the things which we created it and they have asked whether I would be willing to seek office in order to return it to its pristine days,” said Panday, 80, who served as head of government from 1995 to 2001.
Panday told radio listeners that he was being asked to seek the chairmanship of the party when it holds internal elections next year.
“If that be their wish, so be it,” he said, noting however, he was prepared to do so “providing that I will be assured that the elections will be free and fair”.
He said that in 2010 he had indicated that the “elections were stolen and if they control the electoral machinery they will still the elections, I know that and I have no intention of taking part in an election, the results of which are known before the votes are cast”.